Office of Diversity and Equity Forum engages RU faculty and staff
The challenges and opportunities facing Radford University as it grows into more diverse and inclusive campus community were among the topics of the "Diversity Concerns of RU Faculty and Staff" Open Forum on Tuesday, April 8, in the Human Resources Training Room at 314B Tyler Ave.
Marking the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) Open House, the forum afforded a chance to engage in a wide-ranging dialogue with President Penelope W. Kyle about making RU a welcoming campus for a rich, dynamic blend of people.
ODE Director Brooke Chang welcomed the more than 20 RU faculty, staff and students to the ODE suite and introduced President Kyle as "a leader who reflects the future of RU. We look forward to working with you to make a more diverse and inclusive campus."
Calling the issue "near and dear to her heart," President Kyle moderated the conversation and encouraged the participants to "examine ourselves to see what we are doing to be a diverse, welcoming campus."
In the wake of RU's recent Women's History Month Celebration and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Program, Kyle asked, "We celebrate these events, but do we do enough about the issues?"
Faculty and staff recruitment with an eye toward increasing diversity was one of several subjects broached in a frank discussion during which participants described their own experiences and offered ideas.
The forum recognized that the new partnership with Virginia Tech for the establishment of the Language and Culture Institute at Radford University (LCI@RU) will be a unique opportunity to broaden the international student presence at RU. The LCI@RU will accept international students who seek admission to American universities and offer an intensive English course that will provide them with the requisite language skills for academic success and facilitate intercultural understanding.